Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Spring Risotto

This recipe was a great find from the latest Cooking Light magazine and it's absolutely delicious. A little different than my usual risottos, it has some light cream cheese, so it's a bit creamier, but a great change of pace. Super easy with almost no prep (if you buy the right things) and pretty healthy as well. I can't speak highly enough about this dish, it was a real winner.

Spring Risotto
Adapted from Cooking Light
  • 1  pound  asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 3/4  cups chicken broth
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1 1/2  cups  chopped onion
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  cup  uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1  cup  frozen shelled edamame
  • 3/4  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/4  cup  1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • a handful of Parmesan cheese
I started by shelling the edamame. I could only find in-shell frozen edamame, so that added some time and pain to my prep process.

In order to get a cup of edamame peas, I had to shell all these bad boys. Let me tell you, I had some sore fingers by the time I was done squeezing all these pods.

Then I chopped up the onion and added it to a skillet with some olive oil. I cooked the onion for about four minutes and then added the garlic and cooked for a few minutes more.

Next, I added the salt, edamame and the Arborio rice and cooked for about a minute.

Then I started adding the broth/water mix (which had been heating up while I was preparing everything else). For the first addition, I added a full cup. After that, I added the broth in 1/2 cup-fulls at a time, stirring and letting the rice absorb the liquid before adding more.

While the rice mixture was slowly cooking, I trimmed and chopped the asparagus and then cooked it in boiling water for about 4 minutes. To trim the asparagus you put one hand on the very end of the asparagus (the root side) and then the other hand about half way up the stalk. You gently bend the stalk and let the asparagus naturally break. Depending on the ripeness of the bunch it usually breaks between an inch and 2.5 inches up the stalk.

This picture is what the rice mix looked once it was done. I had a little bit of broth left over, but the rice was cooked just right so I didn't want to push it.

Finally, I added the asparagus, pepper and cream cheese. I stirred everything together until the cheese was melted and heated through.

I served the yumminess (yes I just made that a word) in bowls with a little sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Delicious!

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